Lloyd G. Williams, Ph.D. Connie U. Smith, Ph.D.
We all know that performance—responsiveness and scalability—is a make-or-break quality for software. Poor performance costs the software industry millions of dollars annually in lost reve- nue, decreased productivity, increased development and hardware costs, and damaged customer relations.
Nearly everyone runs into performance problems at one time or another.Today’s software devel- opment organizations are being asked to do more with less. In many cases, this means upgrading legacy applications to accommodate a new infrastructure (e.g., a Web front-end), improve response time or throughput, or both. One group that we worked with found themselves needing to increase the throughput of a legacy data-acquisition system by a factor of 10. While a ten-fold increase in hardware capacity might have solved the problem, it was prohibitively expensive. They needed to find most of that improvement in the software.†
Five Steps to Solving Software Performance Problems